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Nick Mwendwa addresses the delegates after being re-elected as the Football Kenya Federation boss. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Football

Mwendwa strikes reconciliatory tone after elections win, plots for World Cup qualification

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – Nick Mwendwa says he will work with all football stakeholders to take the game to another level after earning a new four-year term as the Football Kenya Federation president.

Mwendwa unanimously won the Saturday vote, getting 77 of the 86 votes cast with his closest competitor, former Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda managing just five.

“We are done with matters election and now it is time for all of us to work together to improve Kenyan football. I want to invite everyone to come on board and help us build the game. Football is not about enmity and we must now move forward,” Mwendwa said, addressing delegates.

The elective process dragged on for almost a year due to litigations at the Sports Disputes Tribunal with the polls twice cancelled but finally allowed to go on last Saturday.

“We have done a job and we have taken so much time in election mode. This is an overwhelming day and I want to thank the delegates for today’s vote. We have more than 90pc of the vote and they have shown that they believe in what we are doing,” Mwendwa said.

He added; “Most of our members are happy with the path we have taken and today they have said it on the ballot. We had 52 votes in 2017 and today we have 77 and it looks like we have not gone down.”

“It has been costly campaigns and a tough period for many of us mentally but teamwork is like that and I am happy we have crossed that rubicon.”

His ambition is to see Kenya play at the FIFA World Cup, whether in the men or women’s game in the next four years. With his tenure set to end in 2024, he has a shot at the 2022 Men’s World Cup to be staged in Qatar or the 2023 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia in 2023.

“I feel there is a World Cup calling for Kenya. We need to rise up to the next level, get back to AFCON, go for a World Cup whether men’s or women’s. We have changed football but we will take another step to ensure we don’t slide back and lose stability,”

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 “I want to lead a Federation that is more pronounced in Africa. We want to do more in coaching, have a bigger pool or referees and bring in a new pool of talent in a way we have never done before. We have record sponsorship across all our leagues. We are not yet there yet but in the next four years, we want to look back and say we have taken an elite step in Africa,” further added Mwendwa.

He is now hoping that the government can give a greenlight for resumption of football with teams already back in training while fixtures for the Premier League are already out.

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